Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski’s says his city’s crime ebbed in 2016.
During his annual State of the City address Monday night, Roswarski said crime fell 11 percent, year-over-year. He says property crimes are down 9 percent and violent crimes are down 20 percent, despite an increasing number of robberies.
Roswarski says he’d like to see more addiction and mental health services to help address the city’s drug problem – that’s even though he has opposed hosting a needle exchange program at a storefront location in his city.
Lawmakers, mental health professionals and residents have decried the lack of treatment options in the community, but Roswarski says the community is on the right path.
"The initiatives we are implementing and the community discussion on increasing access to addiction and mental health services…we are doing the right thing and moving in the right direction," Roswarski says.
Last month, the state approved the county’s declaration of a public health emergency, paving the way for the establishment of a county-run syringe-exchange program.
Roswarski has been skeptical of the effectiveness and safety of such programs -- worrying one might bring more drug addicts to the city from outside the county -- and didn’t refer explicitly to the program in his discussion of mental health services.